Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tentatively scheduling for May 4

Not officially, of course, but if everything with the money coming and me finding a decent priced flight in the allotted time goes smoothly, we'll be in Mexico May 4 - May 7. Fingers crossed! I'm also hoping that my hubby has a great month commission-wise and our 3 year old can come along (Another plane ticket at $550 is a little daunting!). Otherwise, she'll spend the week with grandmama, which would be a treat for the both of 'em. Since my sweet hubby has to use his only week's vacation time to accompany me I really want to make it into a fun vacation, at least for him and Ainsley. I know I won't be able to swim after surgery and everything, but he loves lounging around and Ainsley loves the water, so I really think they could have a fun time if we can swing it financially.

He and I talked for a while last night after that disastrous seminar. I asked him if he was OK with me having the surgery. He said he was... I pointed out that if I lose this weight, he'll benefit, too. Not only will I have more energy and confidence... Ummm... I won't be too chunky for Victoria's Secret. ;) He said that the surgery wasn't really a concern-- going to Mexico was. And I understand that... I do. Really. It's not exactly what you wanna hear, I'm sure. "Hey sweetie... I'm gonna go to Mexico for a life altering surgery, K?" But, in light of the insurance issues and the local surgeons level of discomfort with the surgery... I feel blessed that this is the road we HAVE to take (again, I don't believe I would have surgery here at any rate).

Am I nervous? Yes, 100%. Am I scared? Of course... I don't like pain. Do I think I'm making a wise decision? ... Again. YES! I believe this is the ONLY smart decision I can make about this. I can't go it alone-- even though I wish I were one of the people with tremendous will-power (and genetics that make skinny easy!)... I'm not. I NEED this tool to HELP ME.

I'm so ready.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Have you ever really thought about how exasperating some people are? I mean, REALLY thought about it? I bet you're making the same face as the kid in this pic, then. LOL

Tonight was the lap-band seminar at the local hospital that offers bariatric surgery. It was AWFUL! I'd brought along my mom and my husband, so they could see exactly what was going to happen and they could have their fears alleviated. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Apparently, these doctors don't know enough about the lap-band to be comfortable doing it, because all they did was trash it in favor of full on gastric bypass. Sure, gastric bypass has a higher mortality rate, but NO ONE with a lap-band loses their weight-- 50% of the overage at most. Ummm... Really? I've met an awful lot of anomalies on lapbandtalk then.

So, instead of the seminar making them feel all warm and cozy about the procedure... Now my mom is flipping out and my husband is, again, questioning my sanity. It's so frustrating, because I'm not one who leaps into things without thinking them through. Do they really think that I didn't take the time to research a SURGERY that I'm considering? Really? They think I'm going to have something IMPLANTED in my body and not take the research seriously?? Ugh. I am VERY displeased with the doctor who lead the seminar tonight. Ya know what? I think even if my insurance DID cover the surgery here, I think I would still be looking into other options because I just don't feel they know what they're doing at this hospital. And that's the truth!

Anyways... I'm still waiting on the check... When it gets here, I'll call to schedule with Dr. Zapata and then book my flight and... There's no turning back. I'm guessing it will likely be the beginning of May before I can get in (I would say the last week of April, but my daughter's birthday party is the 24th and I have SO MUCH to get done!!!). I'm planning to cut all caloric drinks from my diet over the next month and hopefully get a little weight off so I'll have a chance at fewer incisions. If not, no big deal, right? But, getting out of the habit of drinking bad-for-me-drinks (juices, sodas, caffeine) will be good, regardless.

Anyhoo... That's my report for the day. The nursling is tantruming. He firmly believes it's time for the boobie and some cuddling. Peace out, Bandits!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rollin'... Rollin'... Rollin'....

Yeah. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. It's not cool. I'm still 100% committed to being banded, but there's gonna be a wait, now. And as I mentioned... Once I make up my mind, it's MADE. Therefore, waiting is TORTURE! Maybe it's good, though... As it'll give me more time to talk the hubby around. He's still not a fan of the whole "Surgery in Mexico" scenario. He'll support me, of course, but... I want him truly on board-- not just agreeing because I'm a force of nature. LOL

The wait now is for money. I'm a little frustrated with it because we just bought a new minivan (woo hoo! 2 adults-- one fat-- and 2 big ol' car seats just do NOT fit into a Corolla!), but... I SO could have handled my toddler kicking me in the head for a while longer to pay for surgery. But... I hadn't decided (nor was I even THINKING about deciding) at that point two weeks ago. Now, of course, I'm kicking myself. We have some money coming from a relative's estate. It should be here sometime in the next 2 to 3 months. It will cover the banding (w00t!) but I'll have to come up with travel expenses which will run about $1500 for myself and my husband (and the nursling-- he's gotta come so he can eat!). I can do that... Maybe it's even a good thing that I have a couple of months without the majority of the money to save up the travel fees... If I had the full amount of the surgery sitting here, I might be going wild, huh?

I'm looking into 2 surgeons-- both in Monterrey Mexico. Both are highly recommended, nary a bad word about either of them. Dr. Rumbaut is slightly more expensive than Dr. Zapata, but both hospitals/hotels/bandings seem comparable. I don't particularly care. Also... In the mean time, on I'm entering to receive a free lap band-- which I believe would be through Jerusalem Weight Loss, also in Mexico. Free is good. Heck, free is GREAT. Pick me! Pick me! I've never been particularly lucky, though, so I see saving in my future.

I hate sitting here, knowing that I'm SO CLOSE to an answer to my prayers... And then having to wait. Isn't it odd how God chooses to handle us sometimes? I never really know what the Big Guy's thinking, but... I guess that's for Him to know and me to find out, huh?


Monday, March 8, 2010

Pros, Cons, Everything in Between...

Hi. I'm back. Didja miss me? I did some cleaning after getting the kids up and about and made a few phone calls... Figured maybe I could get a jump start on the process by calling BCBS-- just to make sure I took everything required to the meeting with the surgeon so that I wouldn't have to come back repeatedly with this, that, and the other. Guess what? Bariatric surgery of ANY TYPE is not covered by our insurance.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Guess what else? I cried my eyes out. I'm the type of person that when I make a decision... It's MADE. And I'm not one who changes her mind very much either. So, after I was done sniveling and snorting... I started a new type of research. Self Pay Lap Band Procedures. Whew. This surgery is pricey... Except in Mexico. It's relatively inexpensive in Mexico. I've always wanted to see more of Mexico... :) My husband is gonna flip. He already let me know, unequivocally, that going out of the country for surgery was NOT gonna happen. *looks innocent* I might not have been listening, though... (It happens, right, married ladies?)

Pros (I have a jillion, for your sanity I'll only list my Top 20) :
1) I live in the Deep South... I would be less well-insulated. I might not even be grossly sweaty all summer!
2) I could dress in flattering, pretty clothes (I'm sorry-- plus size clothes are just not "those adjectives!)
3) I could play with the kids more (instead of, "OK, sweetie... Mama'll watch you from here... OK?")
4) My legs wouldn't get all slimy and stuck together with sweat while I sleep.
5) My husband would say I look great and I might believe him!
6) My daughter won't grow up thinking fat is "normal" and therefore "OK".
7) I could enjoy food without feeling guilty because I ate WAY too much of it!
8) I could quit avoiding old friends so I don't have to see them trying to not say "OMG You're HUGE!"
9) I could feel comfortable meeting new people.
10) I could wear really cute heels (right now ANY heels hurt!)
11) I could send money on clothes for ME rather than just my kids-- sorry.. It's ALWAYS cute in a 2t and rarely cute in a 20w!
12) I could FEEL SEXY!
13) I could buy lingerie in Victoria's Secret again!
14) I could run in a 5K in the Race for a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes (which my daughter has:( )
15) My back wouldn't hurt all the time!
16) I would feel more rested-- I just know I don't sleep well because I'm so big.
17) I could let people tag my pictures on Facebook and not un-tag them immediately!
18) I could get a family photo taken-- right now I just get the kids' pictures done because I don't want to ruin the picture by being in it!
19) I could quit hating myself so much (a doozy, I know, but... It's hard to love yourself when you're gross).
20) I could finally get a haircut that would look nice (nothing looks great on a fat face!)

Cons :
1) It's gonna be expensive-- especially if I can't talk my hubby into Mexico!
2) I'm afraid of the huge changes that I'll have to make to my eating...
3) I'm afraid it'll hurt (yes, I'm such a wimp).
4) Obviously, it ain't gonna get rid of the stretch marks from pregnancy LOL
5) It's an unknown and I'm a chicken.

I'd say my Pros SO outweigh the pitiful little Cons, huh? Now, I need to get some pictures (*gag*) so I can show where I'm starting and where I end up after I get banded. Because I fully intend to work the CRAP outta the band and to lose, lose, lose! Ya know... Maybe having to go self pay would be a plus? I bet there's less wait time... ;)

Well, I've made my decision!

After waffling back and forth for a good bit of time on the issue of necessity (Denial, it ain't just a river in Egypt!) I'm ready to accept facts and meet with a surgeon about WLS (weight loss surgery for the uninitiated). Although I've been overweight for ALL of my adult life and obese for a good part of it... For some reason I just couldn't seem to admit it was so bad to myself. I guess in some ways that's lucky? I mean... I don't look in the mirror and think "OMG what a MOOSE!" (usually). But, when I see photographic evidence of it... Well... I can't deny that I'm sickened. After I've had some success and feel I can look at it as "the old me" I'll scan in and post the picture that gave me the strength to do this. Right now, I'll be candid and say it's just too embarrassing and painful to admit. (My own husband hasn't even seen this pic-- I hid it from him).

Hmm. You're probably wondering who the heck I am, aren't you? I'm Melissa. Hi. *waves* You can call me "Liss" for short as many of my IRL (in real life) friends do. I turned 32 in January, have a fantastic husband, and the 2 cutest children in the whole wide world-- no I'm not biased. I'll post pics. You'll agree. :) My little girl is almost 3 (in April) and my son will be 6 months old this week. We live in Alabama, which I wouldn't trade for anything. I love being a Bama girl! We've got Crimson Tide football, a fantastic NCAA gymnastics team, the mountains, the beach, good ol' Southern values, amazing food (might've been some of my problem, eh?), and decent shopping (well, not in my city, but I'm fat... Clothes are a bit of a non-issue for me-- my kids, however, are fashionistas!). I'd rather live in the northern part of the state than here in the south, but here is where I am, so... I'll make the best of it.

Anyhoo. I have a WLS seminar to attend before I can meet with the doctor. I will attend the seminar on Wednesday night. Just 2½ days away. I'm nervous, but I can't wait. After my research, I'm set on the Lap Band. Hence my blog title. I know some people refer to themselves as "Banders" or "Bandsters" but... "Bandit" makes me feel all rogue and sexy-ful (think Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Entrapment") so I'll stick with it. I got the recommendation for the surgeon from my friend Chelsea. She had full on gastric bypass back in '02 and can't say enough great things about her surgeon Dr. Weinstein. Well, he does banding, so I'm gonna get with him to get my life back.
I'm a little nervous that my insurance will make me jump through multiple hoops, so I don't really know how long the process will take from initial consult to actual banding. I've heard weeks... I've heard months... I've even heard upwards of a year. *twitches* I'm hoping for weeks. :) Months would be OK, I guess... It's just that once I've set my mind to something, I don't dilly dally. Why waste the effort? If you know you're going to do something, DO IT! So, I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs, at least until the seminar Wednesday night.

This will likely be my longest day of blog posts, just because I'm going to go through my pros and cons, what I hate about being fat, what I look forward to about being thin, and so forth and so on. I'm documenting for me, of course, but also for you. Reading some of the blogs on banding have just given me the warm fuzzies and I want to do that for people as well. The first one I read (and my favorite because her before and after pics are AMAZING) was Catherine's blog at And then at the chat room I met Mel who has also had an AMAZING transformation (her blog is at Seeing people who have had such tremendous success almost brings me to tears (OK, OK... I admit, it DOES bring me to tears sometimes to think I could be one of them one day!). So... I offer up my journey to you!
Right now, though, I have to go nurse the littler one. He's in a bit of a mood and his sister is too enthralled by Oomie Zoomi to play with him and let Mama type. :) I'll be back later with my pros and cons.